Wed, 04 Oct 2023

BANGKOK, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's consumer inflation growth fell to its lowest level in 21 months in May due to lower energy and food prices and the high comparative base from last year, official data showed on Tuesday.

The country's consumer price index (CPI), a key indicator of inflation, slowed for the fifth straight month to 0.53 percent year on year in May, down sharply from a 2.67 percent increase in the previous month, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The May inflation growth remained within Bank of Thailand's (BOT) target range of 1 percent to 3 percent for the third consecutive month.

The core CPI, which excludes raw food and energy prices, recorded its softest growth since January 2022, with a year-on-year increase of 1.55 percent, down from a 1.66 percent increase a month earlier.

The commerce ministry expects annual headline inflation will decline further, possibly shrink in June, helped by lower energy prices compared to the previous year and the government's measures to support living expenses, said Wichanun Niwatjinda, deputy director-general of the ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office.

However, factors such as climate variability, demand recovery, and high production costs could have a negative impact on inflation expectations, Wichanun told a news conference.

"The inflation growth could range around 1 percent in the second quarter of the year before further decline in the third and fourth quarters," he added.

The commerce ministry maintained its inflation growth forecast to a range between 1.7 percent and 2.7 percent this year and will review the projection next month.

Last week, the central bank BOT raised its policy interest rate by another 0.25 percentage points to 2.00 percent in an effort to ease inflation.

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